Here is a list of characters, and a sort recap of what happened before the fourth season for people who don't know the show.

Angel - He is a 250 year old vampire with a soul. When he was first turned into a vampire, he didn't have a soul, and he called himself Angelus. He was well known for being one of the worst and most evil vampires of his time. Now he helps people by fighting off evil in various forms. He runs a detective agency (Angel Inc.) with his friends from a hotel that he owns. On a night of bad judgment he has sex with his sire (a female vampire named Darla). Darla becomes pregnant, which isn't supposed to be able to happen. She is evil until near the end of the pregnancy when she shares the baby's soul. She kills herself once she goes into labor because it is the only way the baby can survive. Angel names the baby Connor.

Cordelia Chase 'Cordy' – She has been friends with Angel for a few years, and has recently fallen in love with him. At the end of the third season she was taken to a 'higher plane' to do work there. She didn't have time to tell anyone where she was going.

Charles Gunn 'Gunn' – He has been fighting vampires for years, and hooked up with Angel when Angel came to town. He is in love with Fred, and they have been dating for a while. He is a good fighter and often refers to himself as the muscle of the group.

Winifred Burkle 'Fred' – She lived for 5 years in a hell dimension called Pylea. Angel and his friends rescued her from Pylea. She is nice, friendly, usually happy, very smart, and interested in quantum physics. She is in love with Gunn and has been dating him for a while.

Wesley Wyndham-Pryce 'Wes' – He used to be a 'Watcher' for vampire slayers, but got kicked out for not doing a very good job. Because he used to be a Watcher, he has vast knowledge of vampires and demons throughout history. He is in love with Fred, but she doesn't know it.

Lorne – He is a demon from the dimension Pylea. He is green with red eyes and horns. He hates his home world Pylea because there is no singing there. He loves to sing, and has a great voice. When he listens to other people sing, he 'reads' them. This means that he gets a picture of what their future will be, and what they are like.

Holtz – He is a man who fights vampires in the 1800's. He has a personal hate for Angel and Darla because they killed his family. He makes a deal with a demon, and gets frozen in time so he can fight Angel in the future. He is brought back when Angel is about to become a father. At first he tries to kill Angel, but eventually decides to take Connor instead as a way to torture Angel.

Connor – He is Angel and Darla's son. He lives with everyone at Angel Inc for the first few months of his life. Then he ends up going to the hell dimension Quor-toth with Holtz. He is raised in Quor-toth by Holtz. He finds a way back to this dimension when he is about 18. Time runs differently in the two dimensions, so only a few months had passed for Angel since his son was taken.

Lilah – She works for the evil law firm Wolfram & Heart. She is very interested in Angel and everyone he works with, because her company thinks Angel will have a big role in the future of the earth.

Here is a very short and abbreviated version of what happened in the end of season 3 and the beginning of season 4:

Wesley mistakenly thought that Angel was going to kill baby Connor, so he kidnapped Connor to protect him. Holtz kidnapped the baby from Wesley. Holtz takes Connor to Quor-toth.

Then a few months later a teenage Connor shows up through a portal and tries to kill Angel. He has found a way back to this dimension specifically to kill Angel, but finds it hard to kill him. After he has had some contact with Angel, he starts to like him a little.

Holtz, who also came through a portal, sees that Connor is starting to like Angel. Holtz decides to have his friend Justine kill him and make it look like Angel did it so that Connor will hate Angel. It works, and Connor puts Angel in a box and sends him to the bottom of the ocean. That same night Cordy disappears (but not because of anything that Connor does).

Connor ends up living with Gunn and Fred for the summer. They don't know what has happened to Angel or Cordy, and Connor makes sure any leads that they get about what happened are lost.

After forcing Justine to help him, Wesley ends up finding Angel and getting him out of the water. When Angel gets home he talks to Connor and tells him what really happened with Holtz. He gives him a speech about how the world is harsh, but that they should try to make it better. Then he ends it with 'I love you Connor now get out of my house.'

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